Lawyers for Artists - Why would an artist need a lawyer?
The primary reason that an artist is going to need a lawyer is that most artists will at some point in time enter into a contract. In fact almost any time that you try to sell your art, whatever it may be there will be a contract involved. Contracts are very complicated and the list of people who haven't gotten ripped off because they signed a contract that they didn't understand is a long one. It is very important that before you enter into a contract that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to. It is also important that you make sure that the contract is fair and that your rights are protected. You also want to be sure that the contract is in your best interests. This is what a lawyer does, few people are capable of understanding the intricacies of most contracts, they need a lawyer to help them out. A lot of artists prefer not to get involved with lawyers due to the costs involved and the time they have to spend with them, but as a lot of starting artists qualify for special lawyers for low income people, that first fear is not always grounded.
The lawyers job doesn't end once the contract is signed, he also helps to make sure that it is enforced. Unfortunately it is not at all uncommon for people to fail to live up to their end of a contract, when this happens you will need to take legal action to get the contract enforced. It is up to you to take the legal action a contract is enforced through the civil courts not the criminal courts. That means you will need to have a lawyer in order to send out threatening letters, file lawsuits and negotiate on your behalf. If it comes to it you will also need a lawyer to represent you in court.
One of the biggest issues for artists is protecting their copyright, and this is going to require a lawyer. A copyright is supposed to protect your rights over control of your creation, unfortunately it rarely works out that smoothly. Copyright infringement is fairly common and again the way to enforce your rights is in civil court. Just like when a contract is breached if somebody infringes on your copyright you are going to need a lawyer to threaten people and file lawsuits on your behalf. If a work becomes popular enough you may need a lawyer working full time to protect your rights.
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